Peek-a-boo Box Garden

My daughter Santoshi’s pre-school project was to make a peek-a-boo box garden using a shoe box and the garden should include living things (trees, plants, critters, birds, etc.) and non-living things (stone, sand, pots, etc.). The purpose of this was to encourage the child to understand that plants need air, water, soil and sunlight to grow and also speak a few sentences about the garden – what can be seen / found in the garden. We were expected to include the child in the process, ensure that they understood what plants needed to grow and so on.

The homework circular was handed over when my second daughter was less than ten days old. I hated being tied to the bed and had to take as much help as I could. I had asked my mother to buy colour papers (Red, blue, green, pink, yellow and brown), paper strips, quilling tool, scissors and glue. I had seen Starmark carry small flowers, butterflies, etc. which could be used in craft work such as these. My husband went to Starmark and bought some colour papers, small paper flowers with wire stem, peel-off sticker butterflies, felt flowers, etc.

Things I had to do:
• Pick a box
• Add plants, trees, flowers, sand, stone, critters, birds, etc. to the box
• Make the box into a peek-a-boo box
• Ensure that Santoshi understood what plants needed to grow and that she was able to speak a few sentences of all that she can find in the garden box [This part is not included in this page]

The Box:
I didn’t pick a shoe box because it was quite narrow and I wanted to make a bigger box. I picked a box in which our second daughter’s newborn clothes were delivered. The box was considerably bigger than a regular shoe box; the lid and the box were attached and it opened in a more convenient way than a shoe box.

Peek-a-boo Design
Since it had to be a peek-a-boo box, I googled images of peek-a-boo box. I drew a house on the lid and made the door and windows and one part of the roof openable with a transparent sheet stuck under the lid. My daughter loves rainbows. So, I added an image of a rainbow and sun on the top.

Garden1

Inside the box:

Layout:
A bench in a garden seemed to be a nice idea. After making space for a bench on a patch of sand on one side of the garden, I wanted to have picket fence on the left and right side of the box, trees at the far end, potted plants in three rows, stone pathway running in between the rows of the potted plants.

Trees:
At the far end of the box, I made three trees by quilling light and dark shades of green paper strips. One of the trees was an orange tree, the other a tree with a yellow flower and the last one was a tree with a few leaves and lots of sequin flowers.

Garden3

Climber / Creeper
I made picket fence with blue colour paper on either side of the garden and put a different type of climber / creeper on each of the fences.

Garden4 Garden5

Pots:
Brown paper were cut into shape to look like pots. Cubes of thermocol were cut and pasted on the floor of the box. Pots were stuck on the front end of the cubes. Making a small hole in the cube, I filled it with a little glue and inserted the stem in the hole. Flowers made of paper strips were stuck to the stem and flowers with wire stems were wrapped around the stem using the wire.

Potted Plants:
Next were flowering plants in pots. Light and dark green colour paper was used for the leaves and stem and paper strips quilled into flowers for some plants, small craft flowers purchased from Starmark for some plants and some felt croutons near the fence on one side.  I used strips of cardstock for the stem so that the stem stands upright and doesn’t droop.

Garden8 Garden7

Birdhouse:
I love birds and birdhouses (don’t know why but I love them) so I wanted to have a bird house in the garden. A bird nest seemed to be a complicated project at that time. So, birdhouse won over the nest. I printed a pretty birdhouse and stuck it next to the orange tree.

Garden3

Animals and Birds

The butterflies that my husband has bought were way too big (some were as big as the trees that I made). So, I gave the butterflies to my daughter for sticking them wherever she liked. So I printed images of caterpillar, ladybird, honeybees, birds, butterflies, snails, etc. and pasted them here and there in the garden.

The butterflies that my husband has bought were way too big (some were as big as the trees that I made). So, I gave the butterflies to my daughter for sticking them wherever she liked. So I printed images of caterpillar, ladybird, honeybees, birds, butterflies, snails, etc. and pasted them here and there in the garden.

Wooden Bench

A small rectangle of light brown paper become a sand patch. A square piece of brown paper was folded in the middle and looked like a bench. Adding support underneath and to the backrest, the bench looked ok!

Stone pathway and grass
Green paper and grey paper (a little sparkly grey) were cut into long rectangles and were pasted onto the floor as grass and stone pathway.

Decorations
Adding a piece of a dark green shade of paper to the side of the box which opened out, I wrote “Welcome to my garden”. The garden looked nice, but I wanted to add something more. Decorations! From my old stash of craft items, I found a pack full of shapes cut of wood. I hung each of them with some string and stuck the loose end of the strings to a piece of cardstock and added another piece of cardstock on top and stuck this sandwich to the entrance.

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Finished Garden
The box had the name and logo of the online merchant from whom we had bought the clothes for the little one. Sticking a butterfly and a flower on them and labeling the box with my daughter’s name brought the project to a close.

The teachers were impressed by the box and my daughter had been telling everyone about the garden and the box (though I don’t know how well she explained it at school). This project took a long time for me to finish but gave me complete satisfaction. Looking at it makes me smile every time 🙂

View from top

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